Daily Archives: June 11, 2016
There is always that measure of pressure that comes playing an international tournament in front of your own turf. For the case of Olivier Giroud, there was some extra pressure as he was favored ahead of Karim Benzema, which divided opinions among the French fans.
A lot of chances fell his way and he gnashed his teeth in anguish as he failed to capitalize on most of them but in the second half, he got his reward for his sheer persistence as he reacted after the Romanian goalie fluffed at his chance to catch the ball and France was one goal to the good.
Les Bleus were in control of the game and seemed to be doing just fine but they took their feet off the pedal and allowed to the visitors to come back to the game when Patrice Evra clumsily fouled some chap in the box, leaving experienced Hungarian ref, Victor Kassai, no chance but to point to the spot. Star midfielder, Nicolae Stanciu, sent Hugo Lloris the wrong way and the visitors levelled the contest. Despite France’s incessant wave of attacking, Romania had a very clear cut chance to actually open the scoring but it took a point blank save from Lloris to deny a Romanian chap from scoring the maiden goal in the tournament.
Late on, Dimitri Payet showed his class again with a magnificent volley from quite some distance leaving the keeper rooted to the spot. Payet was substituted minutes after his match winner and the reception he got from the crowd was quite raucous, making him feel very emotional as a tear or two was seen creeping down his eyes.
This is what we ‘neutrals’ expected from the tournament and my keen focus will remain on the Gunners featuring in the competition.
Another Gunner is bracing himself for action as Switzerland take on Albania today.
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